Kate Brown was sworn in on Wednesday as the new governor of Oregon and successor to former governor John Kitzhaber, who resigned. "Oregon has been in the news for all the wrong reasons," she said at her inauguration. "That changes, starting today."
The new governor has a track record of support for the Oregon nursery industry, and has been a guest speaker before the OAN Government Relations Committee on several occasions.
"We have already developed a strong working relationship with the new governor during her long service as a legislator and statewide elected official," OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone said. "We look forward to working with her as she moves the state forward."
Brown will serve until at least 2016, when an election will be held to fill the remaining two years in Kitzhaber's term.
Kitzhaber's departure came amid controversy over the roles of his live-in partner and fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, who participated in state business while also serving as a paid private consultant.
"Gov. Kitzhaber's resignation is a sad day for Oregon," Stone said. "He was a very strong supporter of nursery industry priorities, including the driver's card and the state's first long-term water supply bill. We have appreciated his consistent efforts to work with the nursery industry to accomplish important goals."
Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and House Minority Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) each met with members serving on the OAN Government Relations Committee Tuesday afternoon in Salem.
Courtney made time to see OAN members even though it was a very hectic day for him, particularly in light of the sudden change in the governor's office. He called the situation "tragic and sad" and said it only puts more pressure on legislators to deliver results Oregonians are looking for. "The Legislature has to be better than it has ever been," he said.
Members thanked Courtney for his strong support of the driver's card bill, which passed the Legislature in 2013 but ultimately was overturned by voter initiative.
McLane told OAN members that Republicans are supportive water supply issues and want to see further investments made. He said also that GOP legislators are hoping that the new governor is a broker of bipartisan compromise in Salem.
Aside from the visits by Courtney and McLane, the committee discussed several issues the Democratic majority is pushing forward that will affect the nursery industry. They include a possible statewide transportation funding bill, an increase in the state minimum wage, and a requirement for employers to provide paid sick leave. OAN priorities were also discussed, including adequate funding for OSU Extension and state natural resource agencies.
For more information on any of these issues, or to provide your input, contact Jeff Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee will meet next with U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon) at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 20 at Woodburn Nursery and Azaleas, 13009 McKee School Rd NE, Woodburn, Oregon.
A federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, on the U.S./Mexico border, late Monday halted President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen's ruling temporarily suspends Obama's orders, which would have shielded upwards of four million immigrants from deportation and provided access to work permits.
The lawsuit, filed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and supported by 26 other Republican-led states, contends that Obama's orders burden state budgets with new costs and violate the "Take Care Clause" of the U.S. Constitution, which limits presidential power. The federal government is expected to appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
The quest to reverse Obama's immigration actions is "likely to fail" in appeals court, Hanen said. Many legal analysts agree, saying courts tend to side with presidents and could overturn the ruling soon. It may take about three weeks for the appeals court to decide the case, should the Justice Department pursue an emergency appeal.
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According to a
report published by Greenhouse Management magazine, growers who supply Home Depot must now comply with the company's new mandate requiring all plants treated with neonicotinoids to bear a special tag informing customers that the plant has been exposed to the controversial insecticides.
Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer with more than 2,200 retail stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In deciding to require the new tag, the retailer cited the potential ill effects neonicotinoid insecticides could be having on pollinator populations. Neonicotinoids have been blamed in the mass deaths of bees around the world and in Oregon, despite the opinions of esteemed bee experts who think there is likely a wide range of inter-related causes at blame for bee deaths.
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